Thursday, September 24, 2009

Travel piece from the Mirror

This article in the U.K.'s Daily Mirror is a generous portrait of Utah's beauty and variety, but a lazy approach to the church.

It's sort of like complaining about dandelions to complain about some elements of coverage in a British tabloid, but, alas, the story shows the chronic and annoying way Mormons are often portrayed in Britain. The name of the church is wrong; no distinction is made between Mormons and fundamentalist Mormons and the stereotype of backwardly quaint is a big part of the portrayal. Here is what it says:

""Utah?", laughed a friend of mine from New York. "Why the hell are you going there? Isn't it just fields and religious nuts?" He meant the Mormons, the controversial, conservative and supposedly polygamist followers of the Church of the Latter Day Saints - which the majority of Utahns are.

"Other than them, and maybe The Osmonds, little is known about this landlocked state.

"Surprisingly, I didn't meet many while I was there (Mormons, not Osmonds). Unsurprisingly, the few I did were down-toearth, friendly and disappointingly monogamous."

Near the end, the author says he can't understand what is wrong with the state. He probably thought he was being kind. Alas, it seems not too much to ask to get a few basic facts right.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Important news piece from CPI

An important piece of journalism -- and model for the future -- is the Center for Public Integrity. Its non-profit investigations are difficult to produce and represent a high-level of craft. I wish to have everyone go to see their latest.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wonderful Mormon piece

The New York Times shows a powerful way to tell stories and to provide moving stuff online with its 1 in 8 million people stories. Its authors picked a young Mormon missionary traveling the streets of Chinatown -- a three-year convert. Just a great piece of journalism and storytelling -- and one that makes the church look good.

Here is the story.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back in the saddle

I haven't updated in a while. Been working on a dissertation. We'll see how it goes this week. School is also starting again.

Worth noting this week is a wonderful story of Gary Neeleman in The Economist of London. Neeeleman evidently started a version of Jet Blue in Brazil -- building on his missionary experience -- and is being remarkably successful.

Unfortunately, I can't find this article online. Worth noting, however, is how much the article implied that his very positive missionary experience shaped his life's work.

It concluded with this quote about missionaries serving there:

"But perhaps a few will form an enduring attachment to a country that resembles America in so many ways, and will use their experience of converting the natives to start a business in Brazil too."